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Adoremus Bulletin For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

MARCH 2017

Commission to review Liturgiam Authenticam


espite the recent promulgation of the new English translation of the Roman Missal, Rome isn’t finished with translations of the other ritual books from Latin into native languages. According to a Jan. 26 article in America magazine, Gerard O’Connell reports that the pope has assembled a commission to review Liturgiam Authenticam, which O’Connell characterizes as “the controversial decree behind the most recent translations of liturgical texts from Latin into English and other languages.” “The commission, established by the pope just before Christmas, is also tasked with examining what level of decentralization is desirable in the [C]hurch on matters such as this,” O’Connell writes. “The mixed commission includes bishops from all the continents. Significantly, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Arthur Roche, the secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, to be its president. The English-born archbishop is the number two official at the congregation; he has more experience in the liturgical field and a more open approach to liturgical questions than its prefect, Cardinal Robert Sarah.” No details are forthcoming on the proposed review, O’Connell reports, including when the committee will first meet or who have been named commission members. While O’Connell holds that the review will likely focus on ways to give bishops’ conferences greater authority in liturgical matters, the review will Please see REVIEW on next page


Praying in Good Faith: Ways to Examine Your Liturgical Conscience

By Christopher Carstens, Editor


uitar choir or Gregorian chant? Communion on the tongue or in the hand? Liturgical language that is elevated, formal, and Latinate—as in the present Roman Missal—or language more common, casual, and conversational—as in the former Sacramentary? Opinions on liturgical matters such as these differ, as with myriad other liturgical elements: Is the Church better served by modern or traditional architecture? Should the Easter Vigil begin late for the sake of symbolic darkness or early to encourage better attendance? Ought Christmas poinsettias be real or manufactured from silk? Parish liturgical committees debate such issues and render advice to their pastors. But on what grounds? To what degree does one’s personal preference—whether one sits on the liturgy committee or in the pew—determine what is “good” or “bad” in the liturgy? Am I my own liturgical litmus? Pope John Paul II once asked this same question: “The Liturgy! Everybody speaks about it, writes about it, and discusses the subject. It has been commented on, it has been praised, and it has been criticized. But who really knows the principles and norms by which it is to be put into practice? The Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium referred to the liturgy as the ‘source’ and the ‘summit’ of the Church’s life (no.10): what is being done to make this sublime definition a reality?”1 Indeed: what are the standards by which the liturgy is celebrated and evaluated? Moreover, where are these measures to be found? In his questions about liturgy cited above, John Paul II has revealed their answer: the Magisterium’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. In preparation for the Third Christian Millennium, as well as on the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s liturgical constitution, Pope John Paul II spoke of an “examination of conscience” similar to one Catholics make prior to sacramental confession.2 Before entering the confessional, I am called to examine my moral life—my thoughts and words, my commissions and omissions—according to the Ten Commandments, Christ’s two Great Commandments, the Word of God, and the teaching of the Church.


Adoremus Bulletin March 2017

AB/Wikimedia, The Transfiguration, Raphael, 1483-1520.

News & Views

Vol. XXII, No. 5

The sacramental liturgy, like the transfigured and heavenly Christ who is its content, is to “shine with noble simplicity” and ought inspire us to exclaim, “It is good, Lord, that we are here!” Does your liturgy radiate Christ?

Along those same lines, a liturgical conscience—of an individual, a committee, a parish, or even the Church universal—is also formed and judged according to received norms. Some of these norms are divinely revealed, while others are put forward by the Magisterium. But whether the subject is liturgy or morality, the temptation is the same, namely, to be our own rule— and ruler. But this autocratic urge is no more possible to realize than it is for an eye to see itself without the aid of a mirror. While a conscience is often described as an “interior voice,” one rising from deep within, a conscience is at the same time a voice from without, a law inscribed by God himself.3 Etymologically, “conscience” means

“to know” (from the Latin scio) “with others” (con). In liturgical matters, this “other” is the Church, and a wellformed liturgical conscience—as St. John Paul II suggests—is formed and examined according to the Church’s own liturgical principles. What are the “principles and norms”—let’s call them commandments—of the liturgical life? The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, when read in light of the Church’s tradition and understood according to her liturgical practice, gives the Church’s liturgy its direction. And while not exactly laid out as a litany of positive or negative proscriptions such as Moses received on Sinai, Please see COMMANDMENTS on page 4

A Liturgical Examination of Conscience Just in time for Lent, Editor Christopher Carstens recalls 10 of the Magisterium’s most important commandments for liturgical celebration and participation......................................................1

its own liturgical weight. As Denis McNamara explains, both chair and chairman speak for God himself.......................................................................5

Golden Anniversary Christ the Bridegroom introduced a heavenly hymn at his incarnation, and his Bride has been singing this song for 50 years under the direction of the Holy See’s Musicam Sacram. How well do you know the score?.................................................3 Seated Between Cherubim Like altars and ambos, the priest’s chair also bears

Take Up Thy Cross with Joy Prayer and repentance are part of our Lenten mandate, but so is joy. As Father David Friel notes, Lent’s Forth Sunday is called Laetare Sunday for a reason .................................................8

News & Views...........................................................2 The Rite Questions.................................................10 Donors & Memorials.............................................11


Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017


Continued from REVIEW, page 1

AB/Wikimedia Commons

also, O’Connell states, give bishops dissatisfied with the new translation a forum to air their grievances. “Some bishops,” O’Connell writes, “…consider [Liturgiam Authenticam] too rigid and do not accept that there is such a thing as ‘sacral language.’” According to Italian journalist Sandro Magister in a Jan. 11 article for the Italian newspaper L’Espresso, the pope’s requested review of the liturgical document might also serve as an opportunity to revisit the “pro multis” controversy that the new English translation of the Mass had stirred. Explaining that Liturgiam Authenticam “sets the criteria for the translation of liturgical texts from Latin into the modern languages,” Magister writes, “With Benedict XVI these criteria had been further reinforced, in particular through the pope’s intention to hold firm the ‘pro multis’ [i.e., ‘for many’] of the Gospel and the Latin missal in the words of consecration of the blood of Christ, against the ‘for all’ of many current translations.” “But [Pope] Francis immediately made it understood that this matter left him indifferent,” Magister adds, citing instances of Pope Francis celebrating Mass in which “for many” is used and other celebrations where “for all” is used. “And now, with the institution of this commission, [Pope Francis] is meeting the expectations for a modernization of liturgical language…”.

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fátima, has traveled the world since the 1940s.

Fatima Indulgence for Fatima Centenary Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence opportunity for the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions throughout the centennial year, from the 27th of November 2016 till the 26th of November 2017. There are three ways to obtain the indulgence, detailed in a statement from the Fatima Shrine in Portugal (see below). To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must also fulfill the ordinary conditions: go to confession and Communion, be interiorly detached from sin, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. 1. Make a pilgrimage to the shrine: To the faithful who make a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and participate in a celebration of prayer dedicated to the Virgin. In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke the Mother of God. 2. Pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima: To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary. In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke Our Lady of Fatima. 3. The elderly and infirm: To the faithful who, be-

cause of age, illness or other serious cause, are unable to get around, may pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017. They must also “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.”

Pope Francis Calls for “New Catechumenate” in Marriage Preparation Catholic News Agency, January 21, 2017 Pope Francis has again stressed the pressing need for effective education and preparation for the sacrament of marriage—not only to guard against invalid marriages, but also to strengthen the faith of the couple as they prepare for the unique blessings and challenges of married life. “The goal of this preparation consists in helping engaged couples to know and to live the reality of marriage as it is intended to be celebrated, so that it is possible to do so not only validly and lawfully, but also fruitfully, so that they are able to make this celebration a stage of their journey of faith,” Pope Francis said. “In this spirit, I would reiterate the need for a ‘new catechumenate’ in preparation for marriage,” he said in his January 21 address to the judges of the Roman Rota at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall. “That is, as for the baptism of adults the catechumenate is part of the sacramental process, so the preparation for marriage must become an integral part of all sacramental marriage procedure, as an antidote that prevents the increase of invalid or tenuous marriage celebrations.” The newly-translated Order of Celebrating Matrimony likewise emphasizes the pastoral preparation for marriage. Whereas the first edition of the Rite contained a brief introduction of only 18 paragraphs, the second edition expands the theological and pastoral directions to 44 paragraphs, including instructions on the couple’s preparation. “The engaged couple,” says the Rite, “having been reminded, if appropriate, of the fundamental elements of Christian doctrine…should be given catechesis not only about the Church’s teaching on Marriage and the family but also about the Sacrament and its rites, prayers, and readings, so that they may be able to celebrate it thoughtfully and fruitfully. “In conducting the preparation, pastors, taking into account prevailing attitudes toward Marriage and the family, should endeavor to evangelize the couple’s authentic and mutual love in the light of faith. Even the requirements of law for contracting a valid and licit Marriage can serve to promote a living faith and fruitful love between the couple, ordered toward establishing a Christian family” (17, 20).

Pope to Innovate Announcement of Monthly Prayer Intentions Zenit, December 30, 2016 Pope Francis is changing up the practice of his monthly prayer intentions, distributed worldwide by the Apostleship of Prayer. Jesuit Father James Kubicki, national director of the Apostleship of Prayer, explained that a monthly papal prayer intention has been given to the world through

Adoremus Bulletin

Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy

Adoremus Bulletin (ISSN 1088-8233) is published six times a year by Adoremus— Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Adoremus is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation of the State of California. Nonprofit periodicals postage paid at various US mailing offices. Change service requested. Adoremus—Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy was established in June 1995 to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Adoremus Bulletin is sent on request to members of Adoremus. Suggested donation: $40 per year, US; $45 foreign.

the Apostleship of Prayer since the late 1800s. A second intention for missions was added in 1929. “Today these are called his ‘universal’ and ‘evangelization’ intentions,” Father Kubicki noted, explaining that the “process of soliciting suggestions from Vatican Congregations and from members around the world, then proposing them to the Holy Father, then receiving his final versions and translating them from Italian into various languages, then publicizing them via print—is a long process.” Now Pope Francis is introducing a change to this process. He is “returning to the practice of one monthly intention; the twelve intentions for 2017, which alternate between evangelization and universal intentions, have already been published,” Father Kubicki explained. “However, given the speed of communication in the digital age, he is adding a second, urgent prayer intention that he will make known during his Angelus Address on the first Sunday of the month. As soon as we hear what they are we will be publicizing them on our website and other social media.” The “Morning Offering,” prayed daily by members of the Apostleship of Prayer and others, is an especially liturgically-inspired prayer. The prayer recalls the Holy Father’s monthly intentions, and also the individual’s “prayers, works, joys, and sufferings” which are offered along with Jesus’ self-offering to the Father at Mass. One version of the Morning Offerings prays: “O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.”

Lectionary for Mass Supplement Available from Publishers Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship September 2016 and January 2017 Newsletter The publication of the current four-volume Lectionary for Mass between 1998 and 2002 included all saints and blesseds at that time. With the passage of time, and another Lectionary update from the Congregation in 2015 (Notitiae 51 [2015], 349-360), the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat of Divine Worship began to compile all the updated citations and other corrections into a supplemental volume of the Lectionary for Mass. This collection of readings was eventually augmented and developed into the Lectionary for Mass Supplement. Contents of the Supplement include readings for saints included in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal (e.g., St. Sharbel Makhlūf, Priest) or those following its 2011 publication (e.g., St. John Paull II, Pope); saints proper to the dioceses of the United States of America (e.g., St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Virgin); readings for the extended Vigil of Pentecost; and other texts for some Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs and Occasions, and Votive Masses. Editions are available from Catholic Book Publishing Company, Liturgy Training Publications, and Liturgical Press.

Editor - Publisher: Christopher Carstens Managing Editor: Joseph O’Brien Graphic Designer: Danelle Bjornson Office Manager: Elizabeth Gallagher Phone: 608.521.0385 Website: Membership Requests & Change Of Address: Letters to the Editor Executive committee P.O. Box 385 The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky ✝ La Crosse, WI 54602-0385 Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ Contents copyright © 2017 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.

Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017


The Style of Liturgical Language


ccording to recent reports, (See Page 1 of the Bulletin) Pope Francis has established a commission to review the translation principles and processes outlined in Liturgiam Authenticam. For some, the announcement is a reason to rejoice; for others, it is a cause for concern. So much has, can, and will be asked about liturgical translations. Should they seek a more “dynamic” or “formal” equivalence? What degree of oversight ought local bishops’ conferences have, especially compared to that of the Holy See? How Latinate ought— or ought not—the final translations sound? Is the author of the liturgical lexicon—with its potential “dewfalls,” “consubstantials,” and “roofs”—adhering to the longer tradition or to the current culture? Add in all the linguistic “jots and tittles” (Matthew 5:18) and there is much to discuss. But behind each debate surrounding “the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter” (as another translation of Matthew 5:18 has it) appears a larger tension. This tension is just that—a pull, emphasis, or stress—between two necessary extremities: the traditional, universal, and unified, on the one hand, and the present, particular, and diverse, on the other. To put the matter simply: should the style of liturgical language aspire toward elevation and transcendence, or ought it remain rooted in the human culture of any given time and place? The immediate answer is that language ought not be either heavenly or earthly, but heavenly and earthly. To choose one or the other is—after the misfortune of some 5th century heretics—to become liturgical Nestorians overemphasizing the human, or linguistic Monophysites transcending out of this mundane world. Liturgiam Authenticam itself desires to find a language among native tongues that justly satisfies both dimensions, as it begins: “The Second Vatican Council strongly desired to preserve with care the authentic Liturgy, which flows forth from the Church’s living and most ancient spiritual tradition, and to adapt it with pastoral wisdom to the genius of the various peoples” (n.1). Still, within the limits of heaven and earth, is there a style of liturgical language that ought to characterize the praying Church? Romano Guardini’s The Spirit of the Liturgy devotes a chapter to “The Style of the Liturgy” which can equally shed light on the style of the liturgy’s language. Father Guardini takes as his norm Christ himself, the perfect embodiment of the “man of earth” and the

“Man of heaven” (see Opening Prayer, option two, from Good Friday—in the present translation of the Missal). “Those who honestly want to come to grips with this problem [of liturgical style] in all its bearings should for their own guidance note the way in which the figure of Christ is represented” in both the Gospels and in the liturgy. In the Gospels, “everything is alive; the reader breathes the air of earth; he sees Jesus of Nazareth walking about the streets and among the people, hears His incomparable and persuasive words, and is aware of the heart-toheart intercourse between Jesus and His followers. The charm of vivid actuality pervades the historical portrait of Christ. He is so entirely one of us, a real person—Jesus, ‘the Carpenter’s Son’—Who lived in Nazareth in a certain street, wore certain clothes, and spoke in a certain manner.” By extension, does not this Gospel account of Jesus describe liturgical language that is “about the streets and among the people,” a speech that is “entirely of us,” and our own “certain” culture?


By Christopher Carstens, Editor

This depiction of Christ—the liturgical Word—is echoed in liturgical words which are also “sovereign,” “eternal,” “divine,” “mystical,” and “transformed.” It is precisely to these qualities of the liturgy’s style, and especially of its language, that some today object.

ther mental exertion on the listener’s part…. These clear-cut formulas are liable to grate more particularly upon the modern man, so intensely sensitive in everything which affects his scheme of life, who looks for a touch of nature everywhere and listens so attentively for the personal note. He easily tends to consider the idiom of the liturgy as artificial, and its ritual as purely formal.” Here, Romano Guardini addresses that most fundamental of misconceptions underlying the current debate surrounding liturgical translations: namely, that language of an elevated, poetic, traditional, transcendent, and particularly theological character has little place in the liturgy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Pope Francis, who has cited Romano Guardini in the Encyclicals Lumen Fidei and Laudato Si, as well as the exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, must be familiar with The Spirit of the Liturgy and its place in the 20th Century liturgical movement. Indeed, as the work celebrates 100 years in 2018, we hope the commission reviewing Liturgiam Authenticam will let it continue to influence the ongoing liturgical renewal of the 21st century. If Guardini is to be believed—or, rather, the weight of his thinking is to be found true—then we would do well to heed his conclusion that a “vital, clear, and universally comprehensible” style is the only liturgical style possible.


carefully considered by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. It explained its role in divine services, issued a number of principles and laws on this subject in the Constitution on the Liturgy, and devoted to it an entire chapter of the same Constitution. 2. The decisions of the Council have already begun to be put into effect in the recently undertaken liturgical renewal. But the new norms concerning the arrangement of the sacred rites and the active participation of the faithful have given rise to several problems regarding sacred music and its ministerial role. These problems appear to be able


a body and soul which have actually lived. But they are now utterly transformed by the Godhead, rapt into the light of eternity, and remote from time and space. He is the Lord, ‘sitting at the right hand of the Father,’ the mystic Christ living on in His Church.” Again, does not this depiction of Christ—the liturgical Word—characterize a liturgical prayer which is also “sovereign,” “eternal,” “divine,” “mystical,” and “transformed”? And it is precisely to these qualities of the liturgy’s style, and especially of its language, that some today object. The same objections to “liturgical style” were present in Guardini’s own day: “It cannot be denied that great difficulties lie in the question of the adaptability of the liturgy to every individual, and more especially to the modern man. The latter wants to find in prayer—particularly if he is of an independent turn of mind—the direct expression of his spiritual condition. Yet in the liturgy he is expected to accept, as the mouthpiece of his inner life, a system of ideas, prayer and action, which is too highly generalized, and, as it were, unsuited to him. It strikes him as being formal and almost meaningless. He is especially sensible of this when he compares the liturgy with the natural outpourings of spontaneous prayer. Liturgical formulas, unlike the language of a person who is spiritually congenial, are not to be grasped straightway without any fur-

“Liturgical formulas,” says Romano Guardini in his 1918 The Spirit of the Liturgy, “unlike the language of a person who is spiritually congenial, are not to be grasped straightway without any further mental exertion on the listener’s part.”

“But how differently,” Guardini continues, “does the figure of Jesus appear in the liturgy! There He is the Sovereign Mediator between God and man, the eternal High-Priest, the divine Teacher, the Judge of the living and of the dead; in His Body, hidden in the Eucharist, He mystically unites all the faithful in the great society that is the Church; He is the God-Man, the Word that was made Flesh. The human element, or—involuntarily the theological expression rises to the lips—the Human Nature certainly remains intact, for the battle against Eutyches [and the Monophysites] was not fought in vain; He is truly and wholly human, with

Sacred Congregation of Rites, 5 March 1967 Editor’s note: It’s one thing to have an opinion about liturgical music; in fact, it is difficult not to have an opinion. But having an informed opinion—one shaped by the Magisterium, the Church’s tradition, and sound pastoral practice— is quite another. Any Catholic—be he a pastor, musician, or member of the lay faithful— desirous of knowing the principles and norms by which liturgical music is put into practice must be familiar with Sacred Congregation for Rites 1967 docu-

ment Musicam Sacram, which turns 50 years this March 5. While many of the faithful may have read parts of it at one time or another, or have encountered its directions in subsequent instructions—the General Instruction of the Roman Missal or the US Bishops’ Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship—this foundational document always rewards further study. If you, our readers, are not as familiar with Musicam Sacram as you would

like to be, consider taking its anniversary as the occasion to inform your own musical opinion. The Church’s “treasure of inestimable value” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112) needs sound minds and voices on this score. The Preface and Part I are reprinted here; Parts II through VII will appear in the May issue. Preface 1. Sacred music, in those aspects which concern the liturgical renewal, was

Please see SACRAM on page 9


Pope John Paul II called the Church to an “examination of conscience” concerning the Council’s principles and norms as found in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

Cont. from COMMANDMENTS on page 1

the Constitution’s contents might be distilled into a decalogue of liturgical formation and decision-making. (In fact, John Paul II himself performs such an examination of conscience concerning the Church’s liturgical and sacramental life in his 2003 Apostolic Letter Spiritus et Sponsa.) 10 Commandments of the Liturgy Here, then, based on the Church’s own teaching, are 10 principles to form the liturgical conscience. Perhaps there are more; maybe there are fewer; undoubtedly the principles could be arranged or expressed differently—but knowing even this non-exhaustive list of liturgical truths will help us see the liturgy as the Church herself does. 1. The Liturgy Glorifies God and Sanctifies Humanity The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy describes the liturgy as a work “wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified” (7; also 10, 59, 61, 112). Here is the most basic, most fundamental, most essential liturgical norm. Is it also the most overlooked? God’s glory and our salvation are “twin” goals since, as St. Irenaeus puts it, “the glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of God” (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 294). To be a saint is the best way to glorify God; and to spend one’s life praising God is, as a consequence, to become a saint. These are the main purposes of the liturgy from its greatest source of power to its smallest detail: from the Eucharistic presence of Christ himself, to the cantor leading the congregation in song and prayer, to the doorknobs on the church’s front entrance. 2. The Liturgy Is the Work of Jesus Jesus Christ is the liturgy’s Prime Minister and, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, its principal actor. “Christ is always present in his Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of his minister, but especially under the Eucharistic species…, in the sacraments…, in his word…, and when the Church prays and sings…. Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ” (7). The liturgy is not about the priest, except as he acts in the person of Christ the Head. It is not about the skill of the lector, except as Jesus, the Word of God, is announced. It is not about me, except as I am being transformed into Christ.

3. The Liturgy Drives the Economy “Economy,” in the truest sense of the word, means “the management of a household” (think of the homeeconomics class you may have had in high school, and you get the idea). The work of Father, Son, and Spirit (see Commandment 2, above) is the management of a household—of creation, of the Chosen People, and now of the Church—back to the Trinity and eternal beatitude. The liturgy, while contextualized within the Divine Economy, is also the wind filling the sails of the Bark of Peter back to the “Pearly Port.” God the Father, says the Constitution, “when the fullness of time had come sent his Son…anointed by the Holy Spirit…to be the mediator between God and men. Just as Christ was sent by the Father, so also he sent the apostles to accomplish the work of salvation which they had proclaimed by means of sacrifice and sacraments…” (5-8). Does the building committee, for example, know that it navigates the construction of a church (“nave” comes from the Latin, navis, or ship) for such a voyage? 4. The Liturgy Works in Mixed Sacramental Media St. Leo the Great left us an incisively laconic liturgical maxim, “What was visible in our Savior has passed over into his sacraments.” The same Jesus who fed, healed, comforted, forgave, and died among the people of the Promised Land, 2,000 year ago, is the same Jesus who nourishes, cures, and forgives today—but through the medium of sacramental signs and symbols. “In the liturgy,” Sacrosanctum Concilium says, “the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs” (7). All that we see, smell, taste, touch, and hear in the liturgy brings with it, in a sacramental way, Jesus. Thus it matters what a minister does with his hands; there is significance in a new Paschal Candle and last year’s used one; or whether a bell calls worshippers to Mass. Far from simple reminders or pointers, these elements are bearers, porters, and potential epiphanies of what was once “visible in our Savior.” 5. The Liturgy Demands Active Participation When it came to addressing the sacred liturgy, what was the most important principle for the Council Fathers? “In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else” (14). But active participation does not mean, as Pope Benedict once put it, “something external, entailing a need for general activity, as if as many people as possible, as often as possible, should be visibly engaged in action” (The Spirit of the Liturgy, 171). On the contrary, “active participation” calls the baptized to actualize their baptismal priesthood by offering, with the priest, Jesus, the “unblemished sacrificial Victim,” but also “their very selves, and so day by day to be brought, through the mediation of Christ, into unity with God and with each other, so that God may at last be all in all” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 79). Is this how you would describe your activity at Mass? 6. The Liturgy Announces the Church The Church is and does many things, but she is most visibly herself at the celebration of the liturgy, especially when the diocesan priest par excellence celebrates at his Mother Church. As

the Constitution says, “All should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church; they must be convinced that the pre-eminent manifestation of the Church consists in the full active participation of all God’s holy people in these liturgical celebrations, especially in the same Eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar, at which there presides the bishop surrounded by his college of priests and by his ministers” (41; 2). The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and as Jesus’ Paschal work most identified him, so now the Paschal Mystery celebrated in the Church’s sacraments most reveal her. Does your parish’s liturgical assembly reflect the Mystical Body of Christ? Do the ushers know they are Christ’s hands, the choir his voice, the priest his head, the assembly an extension of his flesh and bones in the world? 7. The Liturgy Expresses and Causes Unity In the first paragraph of the Council’s first document—which happens, not by accident, to address the liturgy—the Fathers state four principal intentions, one of which is “to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ.” Union, even while allowing legitimate diversity, has always been a hallmark of the Latin Church—the only “self-governing” Church of the West, compared to the 21 Catholic Churches of the East.



Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

“What was visible in our Savior,” says Pope St. Leo the Great, “has passed over into his sacraments.” The same Jesus who fed, healed, comforted, forgave, and died among the people of the Promised Land, 2,000 year ago, is the same Jesus who nourishes, cures, and forgives today—but through the medium of sacramental signs and symbols.

The first of the Constitution’s practical norms, in fact, is an expression of the Council’s—and the liturgy’s—desire for unity, when it says that no one, “even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority” (22). Are your own “principal aims” like those of the Second Vatican Council: expressing and fostering unity within the parish and diocese? 8. The Liturgy Is a Foretaste of Heaven The liturgy looks both forward and back. The worshipping Church remembers Christ and the events of salvation (the term here is “anamnesis”) with a memory powerful enough to make these events of the past present here

and now. But she also looks above and ahead to that full consummation of the Victorious Christ’s work, drawing that work down to today’s celebration. “In the earthly liturgy,” says the Constitution, “we take part in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the holy city of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, a minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle; we sing a hymn to the Lord’s glory with all the warriors of the heavenly army; venerating the memory of the saints, we hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the Savior, Our Lord Jesus Christ, until he, our life, shall appear and we too will appear with Him in glory” (8). Is your parish’s worship “out of this world,” even while firmly rooted on the ground? Are you, your family, neighbors, and pastor aware that, more than an earthly social gathering, your liturgical assembly should be reaching into heaven even as heaven reaches into Sunday’s pews and aisles? 9. The Liturgy Is Radiantly Beautiful Much hay has been made about the supposed conciliar pronouncement that all liturgical art and architecture are to be “characterized by a noble simplicity.” Even though the sale of beige paint may have increased by an unfortunate misreading of this statement, such “noble simplicity” is not a blank minimalism. In fact, “noble simplicity” doesn’t apply to art and architecture at all. Rather, as the Constitution puts it, bishops, “by the encouragement and favor they show to art which is truly sacred, should strive after noble beauty rather than mere sumptuous display” (124). In a similar, yet distinct, section of the Constitution, the Council Fathers call for the rites, rather than art and architecture, to possess “noble simplicity.” Yet this too can mislead without a proper understanding of the principles involved. The Latin text describes the liturgical rites as “nobili simplicitate fulgeant.” The Latin fulgeant means “let them shine,” thus the rites ought to shine with a simplicity that makes their content—Jesus—known. The Latin noun derivative is fulgor, meaning a “flash of lightening.” The liturgy, it appears, ought to resemble the moment of Jesus’ transfiguration, communicating in a flash of brilliance Christ’s glory to his three apostles. Are your own liturgical tastes illumined by divine radiance? 10. The Liturgy Sings the Word Some enjoy music because of the tune, while others are drawn to the words. The Church is among the latter, principally because her Savior and Head is the Word. Her lungs filled with the breath of the Holy Spirit, she sings to and through the Word unto the glory of God the Father. She is, in the words of Pope Benedict, the true glossolalia, the “new tongue,” her music like “drunken” (that is, Spirited) “speech” (Word). Hence, “as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 112). What the Fathers mean here—as evidenced in the musical legislation both before and after the Council—is that music is not an “extra,” but essential. The words of the rite are enhanced by the breath of the ministers and assembly. How much of your liturgy is sung? Would you describe your parish’s liturgical music program as essential or as nice add-on? Continued on next page


Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

That Other “Seat of Wisdom”—The Role of the Celebrant’s Chair in the Life of the Church

Authority Takes Its Seat We still speak of a chair as a sign of authority. A king sits on a throne, a CEO sits at the head of the table, a chairperson leads a meeting, and a child sitting in his father’s seat at the dinner table is making a statement or playing a joke. Similarly, a scholar recognized for authoritative knowledge holds an endowed chair in a university or serves as department chair. But in Biblical terms, an earthly chair signifies a share in the authority of God who also reigns on a throne. Numerous heavenly revelations in scripture describe the Lord as seated on a throne, from the visions of Isaiah 6:1, Daniel 7:9-12 and Ezekiel 1:26, to the detailed description in the Book of

“A chair is a sign of authority. A king sits on a throne, a CEO sits at the head of the table, a chairperson leads a meeting, and a child sitting in his father’s seat at the dinner table is making a statement or playing a joke.” by cherubim. The seat, then, was an image of God’s own authority, and, importantly, the authority he deputed to humanity to administer in his name. The scriptures are filled with stories of men who failed in using this authority well, but Christ eventually fulfilled this mission in the ultimate sense, giving explanation to Isaiah’s prophetic utterance about the Messiah, saying: “in love a throne will be established” and “in faithfulness a man will sit on it…, one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness” (Is 16:5). In the Old Testament, two examples illustrate the point well. First, in Genesis 41, Pharaoh looks for a wise man with whom to share his authority. Finding Joseph, he tells him that “only in relation to the throne,” that is, only in the kingly office, would Pharaoh’s authority be greater than Joseph’s. Second, God seeks out David and shares his own kingly authority with him by putting him on a throne. Terms like “throne of David” mean more than a particular chair, however, but instead speak of a long-lasting authority that spans many generations, just as the phrase “house of David” did not mean a domestic building but a family dynasty (see 2 Sam 7). This dynasty itself, though, was a manifestation of God’s own governing of Israel, as Nathan is told that the Lord himself establishes the throne from which David rules and places him on it (2 Sam 7:13). When David

Cont. from COMMANDMENTS on page 4 A Liturgical Life to the Full The above list, distilled from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, will not answer every liturgical conundrum or solve every liturgical dispute (whether these take place with another or within oneself). But these principles and norms do suggest a Magisterial framework for liturgical comprehension, participation, and celebration. Take any real-time example from your own parish and measure it against the above-named principles. Do the Mass servers at your parish, for instance, glorify God and help you become a saint? Are you singing a particular song in a certain manner, to take another example, so that Jesus himself might be heard (and not you)? Here’s another point in question: are decisions about the altar’s construction concerned with the finished product as a reflection of heaven? However we might respond to these problems, what we like or don’t like, that is, our personal preference, have next to nothing to do with the right answer to these questions. Like the Christian moral code, the laws of the liturgical cult cultivate a life to the full, a life in abundance, a life reaching from earth to heaven. The Constitution’s



ogether with the altar and ambo, the celebrant’s chair is considered one of the three principal liturgical furnishings in the sanctuary of every Catholic church, and frequently, the Church’s official documents give short theological explanations about the nature of each. The altar, for instance, stands as an image of Christ exercising his priestly office and gives a foretaste of the heavenly banqueting table. The ambo signifies the dignity of the Word of God proclaimed and magnifies its importance. The chair, too, has its own mystagogical role to play: the cathedra, or bishop’s chair, signifies the teaching, governing and sanctifying role of the bishop in his diocese as successor of the apostles. By extension, every priest celebrant’s chair in a parish church signifies the priest’s headship during the sacred liturgy and his mission to sanctify and govern those in his care. The priest in his parish sacramentalizes Christ presiding as the head of the Mystical Body, and his chair indicates this role. As such, it is more than an everyday chair. It is a symbol of the invisible spiritual reality of the Father’s love so aptly described by Dom Lambert Beauduin: “Christ has transmitted all His power of teaching and of spiritual government to His visible hierarchy… [and] through it he realizes the sanctification of the new humanity.”1 The chair is a preeminent architectural sign not simply of authority, but of the spiritual power and responsibility given to the successors of the apostles to bring about Christ’s new humanity divinized with the very life of God.

Revelation (4:2-4). Scripture describes the Lord as being seated on his throne even on earth.2 The phrase “enthroned between the cherubim” (Is 37:16), in fact, was a name for God, whose earthly seat in the Jerusalem Temple was the Ark of the Covenant, guarded on each side

This cathedra, or bishop’s chair, designed by architect Quinlan Terry for England’s Brentwood Cathedral (1989), makes clear in its large scale, semiprecious stone, and Corinthian pilasters that the authority of the successor of the apostles “sits” here.

dies, his son Solomon takes over as king, and as scripture puts it, “Solomon sat on the throne of his father David, and his rule was firmly established” (1 Kings 2:12). Even the limited description of the throne in 1 Kings speaks of its grandeur, being covered with ivory and overlaid with gold (1 Kings 10:18-20).3 This identification of a throne as a symbol of authority continues in the New Testament. When Jesus was brought for judgment, for instance, Pilate sat upon his judgment seat, indicating the authority given him by the Romans to govern the Jews (Jn 19:13, Mt 27:19). This symbol was potent enough that St. Paul would use the same term to describe

Christ’s own authority as judge, noting in Romans 14:10-12 that Christians will someday face Christ when he sits on his eternal “judgment seat,” a notion reiterated in 2 Corinthians 5:10. Chair as Symbol of God’s Shared Authority In the realm of Jewish religious practice, the synagogue was known for its “Seat of Moses,” a chair mentioned by Christ as a place where the scribes and Pharisees gave the authentic interpretation of the law Moses (Mt 23:2). Though Christ speaks of the Seat of Moses in his caution against hypocrisy, it only emphasizes the fundamental notion of the chair as Please see CHAIR on page 6

norms are codified in the Church’s rites, instructions, and rubrics. Far from restrictive, these create an environment for us to encounter Christ and, like the disciples at the transfiguration, soak up his radiance and grace. Pope Benedict has named sanctity and beauty as the most convincing apologetic in today’s world.4 While not the only place in Catholic life in which sanctity and beauty play a vital role, the liturgy (rightly celebrated and prayed) sanctifies and beautifies like nothing else. An informed liturgical conscience, like a wellformed moral conscience, is a key ingredient to such a liturgical life. Editor’s note: the above article ran originally at and is reprinted here with its permission. __________________________________________ 1. Address to the participants in the plenary meeting of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, October 17, 1985. 2. See Tertio Millennio Adveniente, ‘On Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000,” 36 and Spiritus et Sponsa, “On the 40th Anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium,” 6. 3. See Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1776 and following. 4. Message of His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Communion and Liberation meeting at Rimini, August 2002.


By Denis R. McNamara

The earthly liturgy is a participation in the heavenly liturgy. What does the heavenly liturgy look like? St. John’s vision is described in the Book of Revelation and later depicted in this detail of St. John’s Altarpiece by Hans Memling (1433-1494).

Continued from CHAIR on page 5

a symbol of a living authority which made the authority of Moses accessible centuries after his death. Twentiethcentury liturgical scholar Louis Bouyer understood the importance of the Seat of Moses as more than a piece of furniture, since from it “the word embedded in a tradition still alive could be received.”4 The seat was not simply a humanderived sign of office but a theological concept indicated by a material object rendering knowable to the senses that “there was always among them some one held as the authentic depositary of the living tradition of God’s word, first given to Moses, and able to communicate it always anew, although substantially the same.”5 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gave strong support to Bouyer’s claims in his 2000 book The Spirit of the Liturgy, reiterating that the rabbi was not simply a professor analyzing the Word of God on his own authority, but the means through which “God speaks through Moses today.” The chair made clear that the event in which God gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai was “not simply a thing of the past” but God himself speaking.6 In other words, God does not abandon his people after he gives the law. He allows a living authority to continue, and this authority is signified by a chair. The proper use of this authority, of course, is directed to the glorification of God and bringing humanity to its eschatological fulfillment. Christ himself speaks of the end times in the context of chairs, noting that the time will come when he sits on a glorious throne and the apostles will sit in thrones near him in heaven (Mt 19:28). Christ’s reign in heaven provides the ultimate accomplished fulfillment of the offices of priestsanctifier, prophet-teacher and kingleader. The Old Testament foretold it and the events of the Paschal Mystery made it accessible to human beings. Yet as Christ reigns in heaven, he gives this threefold power to his Church, entrusting it to its visible hierarchy: the successor of Peter and the successors of the apostles. The Chair of Peter presides over the chairs of the bishops, the chairs of the bishops preside over

“The Chair of Peter presides over the chairs of the bishops, the chairs of the bishops preside over the chairs of priests in parishes, and the chairs of priests indicate their presiding over those who sit in the pews. And, of course, the throne of Christ presides over it all.” the chairs of priests in parishes, and the chairs of priests indicate their presiding over those who sit in the pews. And, of course, the throne of Christ presides over it all. The Charity of Chairs The word “preside” can sometimes sound harsh in the liturgical context, especially since many translations use the phrase “preside over” to describe the priest or bishop’s relationship to the people. For a time it was fashion-

Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017 able to call the priest celebrant’s chair the “presider’s chair,” and some took offense, thinking it could be interpreted as diminishing the dignity of priestly ordination. The Order for A Blessing on the Occasion of a New Episcopal or Presidential Chair from the Book of Blessings calls the chair the “place for the presider,” then immediately follows up by saying “that is, the chair for the priest celebrant.”7 Similarly, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal speaks of the chair of the “Priest Celebrant” and indicates that it “must signify his presiding over the gathering” (par. 310, italics added), a phrase which appears in the Catechism of the Catholic Church almost verbatim (CCC, 1184). What, then, does it mean to “preside” and how does a chair signify that role? Though research on the term itself seems to be quite scarce, the context of the Church’s use of the term preside appears to indicate headship, not simply in the functional sense, but in the sense indicated by the Liturgical Movement’s rediscovery of the liturgical implications of the Mystical Body. Much of the theological justification for the critical importance of the laity’s active participation was the rediscovery that the Mass was offered by the priest and people together, with the priest sacramentalizing the headship of Christ (in persona Christi capitis) and the laity the members of Christ’s body (in persona Christi). Presiding, then, appears to be the Liturgical Movement’s theologically rich word for the nature of priestly activity: priests take the prayers and oblations of the priestly people to the altar and offer them to God as Christ the head. “Preside” then indicates the conciliar interest in the conscious and active participation of the people, as indicated in a short line in Inter Oecumenici, the 1965 document from the Sacred Congregation for Rites on the implementation of Sacrosanctam Concilium: “In relation to the plan of the church, the chair for the celebrant and ministers should occupy a place that is clearly visible to all the faithful and that makes it plain that the celebrant presides over the whole community” (par. 92). The phrase “whole community” gives the important clue for proper interpretation. Rather than reading the phrase “preside over” as a lording of authority over the people, it means headship of the whole community, including the laity. The chair therefore becomes a sign that makes clear in liturgical furnishings the phrase “my sacrifice and yours.” Consequently, according to statements in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as well as the Book of Blessings, the chair indicates not only presiding, but also “directing” or “guiding” the prayer of the people (GIRM, pr. 310; BB par. 1154), as the head of the body gathers up and offers the prayers of the whole community, and thereby directs them to God. Presiding, then, takes a certain hierarchical order in love.8 Christ is the head over the Church, the pope presides over the bishops, the bishop presides over his priests, the priest presides over his people, and, one might add, the parent (biblically, the father), presides over the family. Cathedra Petri In the Catholic tradition, the pope, the holder of Peter’s authority, is symbolized by a chair, even to the existence of the Feast of the Chair of Peter the Apostle, celebrated in the Roman calendar on February 22. In fact, Gianlorenzo Bernini’s monumental



Gianlorenzo Bernini’s monumental artwork, The Triumph of the Chair of Peter, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (c. 1660s), represents the mystical nature of the Petrine Office based on the authority given by Christ to Peter. Four doctors of the Church, from both East and West, support the chair and confirm the spiritual authority of the pope as successor of Peter. It reiterates the notion that living and authentic teaching guaranteed by the Holy Spirit may, as Pope Benedict XVI said, “shine out among us and show us the way of life.”

1667 Cathedra Petri in the apse of Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica is a monumental shrine enclosing an ancient papal chair. It not only provides a setting for the veneration of a relic, but, in a fulfillment of the Seat of Moses, proclaims to the world that the authority of Christ given to Peter is still operative in the world. Indeed, when the pope proclaims a new dogma at the highest level of authority, he is said to speak ex cathedra, or “from the chair.” He speaks not only of his own theological speculation, but with the guaranteed authority of the Petrine office. This teaching and governing authority of the Petrine office, though, is one of service in charity meant to build up the members of the Church, just as Peter’s authority edified the other apostles. The entrance antiphon from the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter states this reality clearly: “The Lord says to Simon Peter: I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail, and, once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Pope Benedict XVI quoted this very phrase in his homily at the Mass of Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome on May 7, 2005, the formal occasion when he “took possession” of the Diocese of Rome and its cathedra at the Basilica of St. John Lateran. “The Bishop of Rome sits upon the Chair to bear witness to Christ,” he said. “Thus, the Chair is the symbol of the potestas docendi, the power to teach that is an essential part of the mandate of binding and loosing which the Lord conferred on Peter, and after him, on the Twelve.”9 He cited Ignatius of Antioch, who spoke of the Church of Rome as “she who presides in love” (italics added), stating: “presiding in doctrine and presiding in love must in the end be one and the same: the whole of the Church’s teaching leads ultimately to love.” Presiding, then, is an act of love of the head for the body, as Christ loves his body the Church.

Benedict repeated: “The Chair is—let us say it again—a symbol of the power of teaching, which is a power of obedience and service, so that the Word of God—the truth!—may shine out among us and show us the way of life.” A feature of God’s love for his people is giving the new Seat of Moses to the Church in the Petrine office. “In the Church,” Benedict preached, “Sacred Scripture, the understanding of which increases under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the ministry of its authentic interpretation that was conferred upon the Apostles, are indissolubly bound.” Here Pope Benedict reiterates a continuous line of thought from the Second Vatican Council’s document Christus Dominus, which states in paragraph 2: “In this Church of Christ, the Roman pontiff, as the successor of Peter, to whom Christ entrusted the feeding of His sheep and lambs, enjoys supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority over the care of souls by divine institution. Therefore, as pastor of all the faithful, he is sent to provide for the common good of the universal Church and for the good of the individual churches. Hence, he holds a primacy of ordinary power over all the churches.”10 The Petrine Office, then, evidences God’s care for his universal Church, and is symbolized by the grandest chair in Christendom. What Sitting Bishops Stand For The bishop’s chair, or cathedra, grows out of the Church’s hierarchically arranged system. Indeed, the word cathedral, properly speaking, is an adjective which has become a noun from a shortening of the phrase cathedral church, the church in which the cathedra resides. Under the headship of Peter’s successor, it signifies the bishop’s office and the Christ-given power, handed on from the apostles through Please see CHAIR on page 7

Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

the laying on of hands, to teach, sanctify and shepherd by presiding over his college of priests and the faithful (SC, 41, italics added). Christus Dominus states a bishop’s ontological reality clearly: “The order of bishops is the successor to the college of the apostles in teaching and pastoral direction…. Together with its head, the Roman pontiff, and never without this head, it exists as the subject of supreme, plenary power over the universal Church” (CD, par. 4). As successors of the apostles, bishops do what the apostles were called to do: govern, teach and sanctify (see CCC, pars. 880-896). The prayer for blessing a cathedra calls this mission a “sacred ministry” which grows out of God’s goodness toward his people, and asks God to make the bishop who sits on it worthy to “teach, sanctify and shepherd the faithful” (BB, par. 1158). Moreover, his chair signifies his role as chief liturgist of the diocese; Sacrosanctam Concilium notes that the bishop is “to be considered as the high priest of his flock, from which the life in Christ of his faithful is in some way derived and dependent. Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his cathedral church” (SC, 41). The office of bishop evidences the extension of the headship of the Mystical Body out to all corners of the world, and is symbolized by the grandest chair in each diocese. Sit Down and Celebrate Though many bishops govern the world’s nearly 3,000 dioceses, “it is impossible for the bishop always and everywhere to preside over the whole flock in his Church,” Vatican II says, “and so he cannot do other than establish lesser groupings of the faithful.”

“Just as the priest is related to the bishop in his authority exercised at the parish level, so the priest celebrant’s chair can be said to have a sacramental relation to the bishop’s cathedra.” The most important of these smaller groupings are parishes, because “they represent the visible Church constituted throughout the world” (SC, 42). As an extension of each diocese’s cathedral church and its cathedra, each parish church contains a priest celebrant’s chair to indicate that the bishop’s ministry is exercised at the local level. This chair reveals and proclaims the priest’s critical sacramental role in gathering the worshippers’ offering of themselves to God and then directing their prayer to the Father. Priests “participate in and exercise with the bishop the one priesthood of Christ and are thereby constituted prudent cooperators of the episcopal order,” says Vatican II (CD, 28). Therefore the local pastor also exercises the duty of teaching, governing, and sanctifying (CD, 30). Just as the priest is related to the bishop in his authority exercised at the parish level, so the priest celebrant’s chair can be said to have a sacramental relation to the bishop’s cathedra. The deacon’s chair follows along this line of subsidiarity, having a subordinate relation to the priest’s chair. Similarly, one might say the pews of a church have a

theological relation to the celebrant’s chair, since the task of teaching, governing and sanctifying strengthens the laity with grace which is then exercised in the world and the home. This ministry of the Father’s love happens at the local level and is symbolized by the grandest chair in the church. Who Sits Where (and Why) The Church gives broad principles rather than specific instructions about the design of a cathedra or priest’s chair, allowing the logic of use and design of each to grow from the nature of the thing itself. Logically, since each diocese has only one bishop, there is one cathedra in a cathedral and indeed in each diocese. Again, logically, only the diocesan bishop (or as the documents say “a bishop he permits to use it”)11 would sit in a cathedra, so a priest who celebrates Mass in a cathedral would sit in a different chair, leaving the cathedra unoccupied. But like the seat of Moses, the “empty” chair remains a symbol of the continuing ministry of the apostles precisely in its emptiness. The Ceremonial of Bishops notes that it should be a “chair that stands alone and is permanently installed” (par. 47) which may be raised up some steps in order to be seen, giving it the prominence of the office of bishop and reinforcing the permanence of Christ’s authority residing in the successors of the apostles. In the parish setting, the logical consistency of the ecclesiastical hierarchy follows. A church normatively has only one celebrant’s chair since each Mass has only one principal celebrant, and should a layperson lead another liturgical rite or devotional prayer, he or she does not sit in the priestcelebrant’s chair.12 The deacon’s chair is to be placed near the priest’s chair, but seating for other ministers is meant to be clearly separated to clarify their role and to make the exercising of their ministry convenient (GIRM, 310). In a conspicuous exception, a deacon who presides at a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest or another liturgical rite “sits in the presidential chair.”13 The Ceremonial of Bishops does not give a specific location in the cathedral for the cathedra, though it recommends placing it where it is clear that the bishop is “presiding over the whole community of the faithful” (par. 47), reiterating the notion of the headship of the bishop joining to himself the body of faithful in his diocese. In individual parish churches, the General Instruction gives a clear preference to placement of the priest celebrant’s chair “facing the people at the head of the sanctuary” (par. 310), though it quickly gives alternative possibilities in the case of the chair being too far from the altar or “if the tabernacle were to be positioned in the center behind the altar.” The current General Instruction of the Roman Missal also states clearly that “any appearance of a throne is to be avoided” (par. 310) in a parish setting, because this is the prerogative of a bishop.14 When properly designed, all liturgical things lead the minds of the faithful from material things to invisible spiritual realities they manifest. This clarity of external presentation allows the structure of the Church’s arrangement to be displayed for the faithful by symbolizing, making knowable to the senses how God chooses to continue the redemptive activity of Christ in the world. Christ’s mission of sanctifying, governing and teaching continues in the hierarchy of the Church, and liturgical furnishings both support this activity and make it clear. In the

AB/Duncan Stroik

Continued from CHAIR on page 6


Architect Duncan Stroik’s 2011 renovation of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, allows the bishop’s chair to be freestanding to indicate the singular authority of the bishop as successor of the apostles. The new marble backdrop magnifies the chair’s presence in the large cathedral, and its figural sculpture above the chair, Christ Washing the Feet of Saint Peter, by sculptor Cody Swanson, serves as a reminder that the bishop’s office is one of service and love.

divinely organized pattern of self-communication, the chair—from throne of Christ to the humblest pew—speaks of the diffusion of God’s own life in love to his chosen people. ______________________________ Denis R. McNamara is Associate Director and faculty member at the Liturgical Institute of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary, a graduate program in liturgical studies. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has served on the Art and Architecture Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago and works frequently with architects and pastors all over the United States in church renovations and new design. Dr. McNamara is the author of Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books, 2009), Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago (Liturgy Training Publications, 2005), and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course in Ecclesiastical Architecture (Rizzoli, 2011). 1. Dom Lambert Beauduin, OSB, Liturgy the Life of the Church, (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1926), trans. Virgil Michel, OSB, 1. 2. Enthronement language for God is extraordinarily common. For notable examples, see Psalms 2, 7, 9, 22, 29, 55, 61, 80, 99, 102, 113, 123, and 132 where typical expressions include phrases such as “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his

holy throne” in Psalm 47:8. Ezekiel 1:26 and Daniel 7:9-12 similarly describe the vision of the Lord enthroned in heaven. 3. Kings 10: 18-20: “Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step.” 4. Louis Bouyer, Liturgy and Architecture, South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1967), 11. 5. Bouyer, 11. 6. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), 64. 7. “Order for A Blessing on the Occasion of a New Episcopal or Presidential Chair,” Book of Blessings, par. 1154. 8. For a thorough investigation of the concept of priestly hierarchy in love, see Matthew Levering, Christ and the Catholic Priesthood Ecclesial Hierarchy and the Pattern of the Trinity (Chicago/Mundelein: Hillenbrand Books, 2010). 9. Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI, Mass of Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome, Basilica of St John Lateran, Saturday, 7 May 2005. Accessed at hom_20050507_san-giovanni-laterano.html. 10. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Bishops’ Pastoral Office in the Church (Christus Dominus), par. 2. 11. Ceremonial of Bishops, par. 47. 12. See Built of Living Stones Guidelines of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops [BOLS], (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), par. 64: “The [chair] is not used by a lay person who presides at a service of the word with Communion or a Sunday celebration in the absence of a priest. (Cf. Congregation for Divine Worship, Directory for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest [1988], no. 40).” 13. Order for Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest, 38. 14. Although the General Instruction of the Roman Missal does not quote it fully, at this point it gives a footnote to Inter Oecumenici (1965) which reads: “Should the chair stand behind the altar, any semblance of a throne, the prerogative of a bishop, is to be avoided” (par. 92).


Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

A Call to Action: Take Up Thy Cross in Proper Style! By Father David M. Friel

AB/Illuminare Publications

The bulletin proclaims that the celebration of the day is Laetare Sunday, but to what does that term refer? One would hardly know, on account of the entrance hymn “Take Up Your Cross,” that the proper introit for the Fourth Sunday of Lent begins with the incipit, Laetare. Not even the sentiment of muted rejoicing comes through in the text of the hymn. This example illustrates how the omnipresent replacement of proper texts with popular hymnody threatens to deprive Mass participants of a great richness. It must be conceded that the quality of sacred music cannot possibly be everywhere equal, on account of the varying abilities and resources present in local communities of faith. Singing the Gregorian propers from the Graduale Romanum at every Mass in every situation, for instance, would be an impossible endeavor. In every situation, however, goals can be set, new ideas can be tried, and ideals can become the benchmark for which Church musicians strive. Indeed, “music for worship should be the best that is possible in any given milieu.”1 Placing this foundational belief in the context of contemporary America, an action first proposed by Professor László Dobszay, seems relevant at this historical juncture: “the formula alius cantus congruus [another suitable chant] as a substitution for the Roman Gradual or the Simple Gradual must be removed from the normative text of the General Introduction to the Roman Missal.”2 First issued in 1969, the General Introduction to the Roman Missal (GIRM) ratified the permission given in Musicam Sacram (1967), which referred to “substituting other songs for the songs given in the Graduale for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion” as a “custom legitimately in use.”3 According to the GIRM, “there are four options for the Entrance Chant” in the dioceses of the United States of America: 1) the antiphon from the Ro-

Laetare Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Lent, takes its name from the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, or Introit, “Laetare,” that is, “Rejoice.” The Introit in its entirety sets the tone for the celebration: “Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.” (Isaiah 66:10-11, translation as in the Roman Missal)

Adam Bartlett’s setting of Laetare Sunday’s Introit from the Lumen Christi Missal easily places the Church’s own liturgical words on the lips of cantor and assembly.

“Laetare, Jerusalem” by Normand Gouin (GIA Publications) places the text in the metrical hymn ST ANNE, perhaps more commonly known to accompany the text, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.”

man Missal or the psalm from the Roman Gradual, 2) the seasonal antiphon from the Simple Gradual, 3) a chant from an approved collection of psalms and antiphons, even in responsorial or metrical arrangements, or 4) “another liturgical chant that is suited [alius cantus congruus] to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.”4 The same four options are understood of the offertory chant and clearly stated of the communion chant.5 No norm is given to regulate the meaning of congruus, and, judging from the typical experience of the Eucharistic liturgy in contemporary America, this fourth option has eclipsed the first three options on a grand scale. Perhaps great good would be accomplished, as Dobszay suggests, by the wholesale elimination of the op-

AB/GIA Publications, Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

“The celebration of the day is Laetare Sunday, but to what does that term refer? One would hardly know, on account of its replacement by an entrance hymn.”

AB/Graduale Romanum


n late March, a young woman attends Mass at her local parish. The header of the bulletin she picks up on arriving reads, “Fourth Sunday of Lent: Laetare Sunday.” The whole cover is printed in large, salmon-colored text. She steps into her usual pew on the Blessed Mother side of the nave. Our young woman kneels down on the well-worn kneeler for a moment of personal prayer. She opens to the back cover of the “missalette” and silently recites the “Prayer Before a Crucifix.” Right on time, the cantor goes to the podium, welcomes everyone to Mass, and asks them to join in singing the entrance hymn, “Take Up Your Cross.” Is there anything wrong with this very typical scene from American parochial life? While there may be legitimate debate about various details, perhaps the most significant issue is a practice that has become so ubiquitous as not even to register in the consciousness of many weekly congregants.

tion for “another appropriate song.” This action, were it to be taken, would still admit of variety and the necessary inequality of the musical-liturgical experience in different setting. The propers could be sung by a cantor, a choir, or the whole congregation; they could be sung accompanied or unaccompanied; they could be sung in English, Latin, Spanish, Igbo, Tagalog, or any other tongue. This action would not necessarily eliminate the possibility of singing something in addition to the propers, either, but it would certainly help to restore the traditional structure of the Proprium Missae—a hallmark of the Roman Rite. Thanks to the dedication of many selfless Church musicians, a lack of sufficient resources (in Latin or in the vernacular) is finally no longer a legitimate excuse for the replacement of

propers with hymnody (or anything else). Choices among Latin and vernacular propers are now widely available, and many of them are available at no cost. The Church, herself, provides the Graduale Simplex6 as a simpler alternative to the Graduale Romanum.7 The Communio8 chants, published by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA), are another wonderful option in Latin. Among the Englishlanguage options, the Lumen Christi Missal9 and Lumen Christi Simple Gradual10 of Adam Bartlett are noteworthy resources. A regular contributor to Adoremus Bulletin, Bartlett is also responsible for the Simple English Propers11 and an online score library of free resources.12 Additional Englishlanguage resources include the Simple Choral Gradual13 and English Chant for the Modern Roman Rite,14 both from Richard Rice, and The Proper of the Mass,15 by Father Samuel Weber, OSB. In addition, Jon Naples has produced an excellent collection in his Offertory,16 and Gary Penkala has published numerous settings of propers through his CanticaNOVA Publications.17 In parishes seeking to introduce propersbased music gradually, resources such as Introit Hymns of the Church Year18 by Christoph Tietze remain a useful first step. A full analysis and comparison of each of these collections is not necessary here, but Catholic musicians must become aware that such resources exist and are easily accessible. It is worth noting that the movement towards propers is finding traction even among many of the major liturgical music publishers in the United States. One can find collections that draw from the antiphons of the Roman Missal, for example, in the catalogs of GIA Publications, Oregon Catholic Press, and World Library Publications. While not all of these resources reflect the same musical quality or suitability

“A return to propers-based liturgy is not an impossible goal.” for liturgical use, the growing presence of materials related to proper texts is evidence that the demand for “proper” music is a developing market. Publishers would not, after all, be producing new settings of propers if they did not expect them to sell. This trend means that what presently remains a largely grassroots effort has a future. A return to propers-based liturgy is not an impossible goal. It is the onus of our present generation to see that the Second Vatican Council’s “original vision of a musical renaissance consistent with tradition is achieved.”19 Professor Dobszay has testified to the real viability of this call to action, speaking of the current liturgical life of his native Hungary. There, “despite very adverse conditions,” the chanting of the propers “has in fact been achieved.”20 In both urban and rural parishes, the voice of the Church is heard through the sung propers of the Mass as presented in the 2007 volume, Graduale Hungaricum.21 Similar success is possible in the American milieu. Whether or not the repeal of the permissive phrase legitimizing “another suitable song” is effected officially within the Church, Catholic musicians today have the freedom to make the option extraneous. Choices can be made in favor of the propers even now, Please see ACTION on page 10

Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

to be solved by expounding more fully certain relevant principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy. 3. Therefore the Consilium set up to implement the Constitution on the Liturgy, on the instructions of the Holy Father, has carefully considered these questions and prepared the present Instruction. This does not, however, gather together all the legislation on sacred music; it only establishes the principal norms which seem to be more necessary for our own day. It is, as it were, a continuation and complement of the preceding Instruction of this Sacred Congregation, prepared by this same Consilium on 26 September 1964 [Inter Oecumenici], for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution. 4. It is to be hoped that pastors of souls, musicians and the faithful will gladly accept these norms and put them into practice, uniting their efforts to attain the true purpose of sacred music, “which is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.”1 (a) By sacred music is understood that which, being created for the celebration of divine worship, is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form.2 (b) The following come under the title of sacred music here: Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony in its various forms both ancient and modern, sacred music for the organ and other approved instruments, and sacred popular music, be it liturgical or simply religious.3 I. Some General Norms 5. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song, with the ministers of each degree fulfilling their ministry and the people participating in it.4 Indeed, through this form, prayer is expressed in a more attractive way, the mystery of the liturgy, with its hierarchical and community nature, is more openly shown, the unity of hearts is more profoundly achieved by the union of voices, minds are more easily raised to heavenly things by the beauty of the sacred rites, and the whole celebration more clearly prefigures that heavenly liturgy which is enacted in the holy city of Jerusalem. Pastors of souls will therefore do all they can to achieve this form of celebration. They will try to work out how that assignment of different parts to be performed and duties to be fulfilled, which characterizes sung celebrations, may be transferred even to celebrations which are not sung, but at which the people are present. Above all one must take particular care that the necessary ministers are obtained and that these are suitable, and that the active participation of the people is encouraged. The practical preparation for each liturgical celebration should be done in a spirit of cooperation by all parties concerned, under the guidance of the rector of the church, whether it be in ritual, pastoral or musical maters. 6. The proper arrangement of a liturgical celebration requires the due assignment and performance of certain functions, by which “each person, minister or layman, should carry out all and only those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the norms of the liturgy.”5 This also demands that the meaning and proper nature of each part and of each song be carefully observed. To attain this, those parts especially should be sung which by their very nature require to be sung, using the kind and form of music which is proper to their character.

7. Between the solemn, fuller form of liturgical celebration, in which everything that demands singing is in fact sung, and the simplest form, in which singing is not used, there can be various degrees according to the greater or lesser place allotted to singing. However, in selecting the parts which are to be sung, one should start with those that

“In selecting the parts which are to be sung, one should start with those that are by their nature of greater importance, and especially those which are to be sung by the priest or by the ministers, with the people replying, or those which are to be sung by the priest and people together.” are by their nature of greater importance, and especially those which are to be sung by the priest or by the ministers, with the people replying, or those which are to be sung by the priest and people together. The other parts may be gradually added according as they are proper to the people alone or to the choir alone. 8. Whenever, for a liturgical service which is to be celebrated in sung form, one can make a choice between various people, it is desirable that those who are known to be more proficient in singing be given preference; this is especially the case in more solemn liturgical celebrations and in those which either require more difficult singing, or are transmitted by radio or television.6 If, however, a choice of this kind cannot be made, and the priest or minister does not possess a voice suitable for the proper execution of the singing, he can render without singing one or more of the more difficult parts which concern him, reciting them in a loud and distinct voice. However, this must not be done merely for the convenience of the priest or minister. 9. In selecting the kind of sacred music to be used, whether it be for the choir or for the people, the capacities of those who are to sing the music must be taken into account. No kind of sacred music is prohibited from liturgical actions by the Church as long as it corresponds to the spirit of the liturgical celebration itself and the nature of its individual parts,7 and does not hinder the active participation of the people.8 10. In order that the faithful may actively participate more willingly and with greater benefit, it is fitting that the format of the celebration and the degree of participation in it should be varied as much as possible, according to the solemnity of the day and the nature of the congregation present. 11. It should be borne in mind that the true solemnity of liturgical worship depends less on a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial than on its worthy and religious celebration, which takes into account the integrity of the liturgical celebration itself, and the performance of each of its parts according to their own particular nature. To have a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremonial is at times desirable when there are the resources available


Continued from SACRAM on page 3


Musicam Sacram went through many drafts until Pope Paul VI brought the document to its final form in 1967.

to carry them out properly; on the other hand it would be contrary to the true solemnity of the liturgy if this were to lead to a part of the action being omitted, changed, or improperly performed. 12. It is for the Holy See alone to determine the more important general principles which are, as it were, the basis of sacred music, according to the norms handed down, but especially according to the Constitution on the Liturgy. Direction in this matter, within the limits laid down, also belongs to the competent territorial Episcopal Conferences of various kinds, which have been legitimately constituted, and to the individual bishop.9 13. Liturgical services are celebrations of the Church, that is, of the holy people, united under and directed by the bishop or priest.10 The priest and his ministers, because of the sacred order they have received, hold a special place in these celebrations, as do also—by reason of the ministry they perform—the servers, readers, commentators and those in the choir.11 14. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, presides over the gathered assembly. Since the prayers which are said or sung by him aloud are proclaimed in the name of the entire holy people and of all present,12 they should be devoutly listened to by all. 15. The faithful fulfill their liturgical role by making that full, conscious and active participation which is demanded by the nature of the liturgy itself and which is, by reason of baptism, the right and duty of the Christian people.13 This participation: (a) Should be above all internal, in the sense that by it the faithful join their mind to what they pronounce or hear, and cooperate with heavenly grace,14 (b) Must be, on the other hand, external also, that is, such as to show the internal participation by gestures and

bodily attitudes, by the acclamations, responses and singing.15 The faithful should also be taught to unite themselves interiorly to what the ministers or choir sing, so that by listening to them they may raise their minds to God. 16. One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song. Therefore the active participation of the whole people, which is shown in singing, is to be carefully promoted as follows: (a) It should first of all include acclamations, responses to the greetings of the priest and ministers and to the prayers of litany form, and also antiphons and psalms, refrains or repeated responses, hymns and canticles.16 (b) Through suitable instruction and practices, the people should be gradually led to a fuller—indeed, to a complete—participation in those parts of the singing which pertain to them. (c) Some of the people’s song, however, especially if the faithful have not yet been sufficiently instructed, or if musical settings for several voices are used, can be handed over to the choir alone, provided that the people are not excluded from those parts that concern them. But the usage of entrusting to the choir alone the entire singing of the whole Proper and of the whole Ordinary, to the complete exclusion of the people’s participation in the singing, is to be deprecated. 17. At the proper times, all should observe a reverent silence.17 Through it the faithful are not only not considered as extraneous or dumb spectators at the liturgical service, but are associated more intimately in the mystery that is being celebrated, thanks to that interior disposition which derives from the word of God that they have heard, Please see SACRAM on page 12


LETTERS Searching for the Truth

Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017

The Rite Questions

Qthe Church be received at a time other than the Easter Vigil? A : Can candidates for reception into full Communion with

Dear friends at Adoremus, I am an Australian brother in an Austrian religious order, where we are currently studying a lot about the liturgy. Earlier in the year I found some excellent articles on your website, for example, about the Eucharistic Prayers. If my memory has not served me incorrectly, the website now appears to have a new format. At any rate, I unfortunately cannot find the old articles. Is there any possibility of being able to access them via the new website?

: For the unbaptized, called “Catechumens,” “the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation should take place at the Easter Vigil” (RCIA, 23). But what about those seeking full communion, called “Candidates,” those already baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial communion but in need of the Sacraments of confirmation and the Eucharist? Since many RCIA programs have both Catechumens and Candidates,

Thank you for your assistance, Br. Jason Rushton, SJM


Adoremus responds: Indeed, the website has been given a new design, one we hope our visitors will find beautiful and easy to use. But it has been no small feat bringing the site to final form. Among other things, we are particularly pleased to have met the very good challenge of transferring 20 years’ worth of content—nearly 1,600 articles—a feat which our underpaid yet much appreciated staff has successfully accomplished.

Chant Revisited Dear Adoremus, I have a question about Gregorian chant. When I was growing up in the United States, before Vatican II, I learned that during Mass, the only kind of music that was permitted was Gregorian chant. Was that correct? Is it correct now?

: Are baptisms allowed during Lent?


: The baptism of infants is allowed during the season of Lent, as norms

from the Rite for the Baptism of Children suggest: “An infant should be baptized within the first weeks after birth” (8.3). But if circumstances would allow, the Easter Vigil is a most appropriate time to celebrate even infant baptism: “To bring out the paschal character of baptism, it is recommended that the sacrament be celebrated during the Easter Vigil or on Sunday, when the Church commemorates the Lord’s resurrection” (9). In fact, the Third edition of the Roman Missal now contains rubrics in the Easter Vigil for the baptism of infants. Continued from ACTION on page 8 and the fruits of such action could be beneficial for the Church and for the faithful. It is the charge of the present generation of Catholic musicians in America to initiate this movement, participate in it, and bring it to a happy completion. For the sake of the people in the pews, we must take up this cross.

With a prayer, Robert John Bennett Dusseldorf, Germany


Adoremus responds: Prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, any liturgical text sung during the Mass (or most other liturgical celebrations) had to be sung in Latin (or Greek, as with the Kyrie). Most of the time, the Latin liturgical text was set to Gregorian notation, but certain texts (e.g., the Gloria or the Offertory antiphon) could also be sung in a polyphonic setting. A 1958 Instruction on Sacred Music from the Sacred Congregation for Rites, De musica sacra et sacra liturgia, allowed for the addition of hymns and songs at a recited Mass (14b)—which was most often the norm (See Adam Bartlett’s “Ever Ancient, Ever New: Implementing Musicam Sacram Today” in the January 2017 Bulletin). Such hymns could be set in various musical styles, and not necessarily be Gregorian chants. The Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy spoke directly to the style of music used in the liturgy: “The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action” (116).

Father David M. Friel is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Ordained in May 2011, he has served as parish priest at St. Anselm Church in Northeast Philadelphia. Currently he is pursuing graduate studies in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Christ Front and Center Dear Editor, Very interesting reading Bishop Serratelli’s “Praying Ad Orientem” article in the January Bulletin regarding Jewish, Muslim and early Church worship practices. I was an altar boy in the 60s with the Tridentine Mass. My oldest son takes his 10 children to a Traditional Mass as he feels there is greater reverence and solemnity there. I rather agree. But, I learned in Catholic el-

it is not uncommon for both groups to receive the sacraments at the Vigil. Indeed, the RCIA itself says of Candidates that “The high point of their entire formation will normally be the Easter Vigil” (409). The Vigil, then, is not at all an inappropriate time for Candidates to be confirmed and to receive their first holy Communion. On the other hand, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Statues on the Catechumenate

1. Francis P. Schmitt, “Leaning Right?” in Crisis in Church Music?: Proceedings of a Meeting on Church Music Conducted by The Liturgical Conference and the Church Music Association of America (Washington, DC: The Liturgical Conference, 1967), 53. 2. László Dobszay, “The Proprium Missae of the Roman Rite,” in The Genius of the Roman Rite: Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives on Catholic Liturgy, ed. Uwe Michael Lang (Mundelein, IL: Hillenbrand Books, 2010), 100. 3. Sacra Congregatio Rituum, Musicam Sacram 32, 5 March 1967, AAS 59 (1967): 309. ET from www. 4. General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2003), 48. Hereafter, abbreviated GIRM. 5. GIRM, 74 and 87. 6. Graduale Simplex: In usum minorum ecclesiarum, edition typica altera (Vatican: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1975). 7. Solesmes, Graduale Romanum (Tournai, Belgium: Desclée & Co., 1974). 8. Richard Rice, Communio: Communion Antiphons with Psalm Verses for Sundays and Solemnities (Richmond, VA: CMAA, 2008). 9. Adam Bartlett, Lumen Christi Missal (Illuminare Publications, 2012).

(found as Appendix III in most editions of the RCIA) offers strong language in support of full initiation at a time other than at the Easter Vigil. “The reception of candidates,” the National Statues instructs, “into the communion of the Catholic Church should ordinarily take place at the Sunday Eucharist of the parish community….” And again, “It is preferable that reception into full communion not take place at the Easter Vigil lest there be confusion of such baptized Christians with the candidates for baptism…” (32-3). Thus, parishes whose current practice is to celebrate reception into full communion at the Vigil need not move this celebration to a different date, for, clearly, the Rites book does suggest the practice of full initiation at Easter. Still, RCIA coordinators and pastors should be aware that, like the Vigil, another Sunday is also a legitimate, and perhaps preferable, option for Candidates. In the end, it is not the date that should be the determining factor, but a candidate’s readiness. 10. Adam Bartlett, Lumen Christi Simple Gradual (Illuminare Publications, 2014). 11. Adam Bartlett, Simple English Propers for the Ordinary Form of Mass, Sundays and Feasts (Richmond, VA: CMAA, 2011). 12. Available at: https://www.illuminarepublications. com/scores. 13. Richard Rice, Simple Choral Gradual: Settings for Mixed Choir of the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons for Sundays and Solemnities of the Church Year (Richmond, VA: CMAA, 2011). 14. Richard Rice, English Chant for the Modern Roman Rite, 2 vol. (Lulu, 2016). 15. Samuel F. Weber, The Proper of the Mass: Entrance, Offertory, and Communion Antiphons for Sundays and Solemnities (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2014). 16. Jon Naples, Offertory: Chant Propers in 3 Parts, Sundays and Feasts Complete (Lulu, 2015). 17. Online catalog available here: 18. Christoph Tietze, Introit Hymns for the Church Year (Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2006). 19. Jeffrey A. Tucker, Sing Like a Catholic (Richmond, VA: Church Music Association of America, 2009). 20. Dobszay, 103. 21. Graduale Hungaricum (Gödöllö: A Premonterei rend Gödöllöi Kanóniája, 2007).

Want to learn more about liturgical translations? Visit:

ementary and high school that the Mass was a commemoration of the Last Supper and Calvary. (No place for jokes or comedians, but that is another topic.) Also the Council of Trent clarified that one crumb or one drop of the consecrated bread and wine had indeed become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, which would indicate no longer an item or an “it,” but the very Person of Jesus present. With this background I have learned to appreciate the Novus Ordo as the Priest, in persona Christi, faces all of God’s children, and after the

consecration asks them to receive not a symbol but the very person of Christ. Is this not the high point of the Mass, when we come face to face with Him, giving thanks for our blessings and beseeching Him to make us “good and faithful servants” as we anticipate His actual presence into our being? Just one “crumb” should overwhelm us into silence and total concentration on God’s very presence. Getting into another line for a “drop” is redundant and distracts us from the Entity within. Perhaps if a greater emphasis was

given to instructing the flock regarding the presence of Christ as a Person in the Blessed Sacrament then reverence and solemnity would increase. Of course, if the tabernacle, the throne of Christ the King, is not “front and center” then neither will the flock put Him front and center in their lives or believe that He is truly present, as His Presence, not a compass direction, is worthy of the utmost attention.

Pete Dornay Mercer Is., WA


Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017



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Adoremus Bulletin, March 2017



“There should be choirs,” says Musicam Sacram,” especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries and religious houses of studies, and they should be carefully encouraged. It would also be desirable for similar choirs to be set up in smaller churches.”

Continued from SACRAM on page 9 from the songs and prayers that have been uttered, and from spiritual union with the priest in the parts that he says or sings himself. 18. Among the faithful, special attention must be given to the instruction in sacred singing of members of lay religious societies, so that they may support and promote the participation of the people more effectively.18 The formation of the whole people in singing, should be seriously and patiently undertaken together with liturgical instruction, according to the age, status and way of life of the faithful and the degree of their religious culture; this should be done even from the first years of education in elementary schools.19 19. Because of the liturgical ministry it performs, the choir—or the Capella musica, or schola cantorum—deserves particular mention. Its role has become something of yet greater importance and weight by reason of the norms of the Council concerning the liturgical renewal. Its duty is, in effect, to ensure the proper performance of the parts which belong to it, according to the different kinds of music sung, and to encourage the active participation of the faithful in the singing. Therefore: (a) There should be choirs, or Capellae, or scholae cantorum, especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries and religious houses of studies, and they should be carefully encouraged. (b) It would also be desirable for similar choirs to be set up in smaller churches. 20. Large choirs (Capellae musicae) existing in basilicas, cathedrals, monasteries and other major churches, which have in the course of centuries earned for themselves high renown by preserving and developing a musical heritage of inestimable value, should be retained for sacred celebrations of a more elaborate kind, according to their own traditional norms, recognized and approved by the Ordinary. However, the directors of these choirs and the rectors of the churches should take care that the people always associate themselves with the singing by performing at least the easier sections of those parts which belong to them. 21. Provision should be made for at least one or two properly trained singers, especially where there is no possibility of setting up even a small choir. The singer will present some simpler musical settings, with the people taking part, and can lead and support the

faithful as far as is needed. The presence of such a singer is desirable even in churches which have a choir, for those celebrations in which the choir cannot take part but which may fittingly be performed with some solemnity and therefore with singing. 22. The choir can consist, according to the customs of each country and other circumstances, of either men and boys, or men and boys only, or men and women, or even, where there is a genuine case for it, of women only. 23. Taking into account the layout of each church, the choir should be placed in such a way: (a) That its nature should be clearly apparent—namely, that it is a part of the whole congregation, and that it fulfills a special role; (b) That it is easier for it to fulfil its liturgical function;20 (c) That each of its members may be able to participate easily in the Mass, that is to say by sacramental participation. Whenever the choir also includes women, it should be placed outside the sanctuary (presbyterium). [Editor’s note: This instruction reflects the discipline of the Missal in use in 1967 which allowed only ministers, each of which was male, to perform their tasks in the sanctuary.] 24. Besides musical formation, suitable liturgical and spiritual formation must also be given to the members of the choir, in such a way that the proper performance of their liturgical role will not only enhance the beauty of the celebration and be an excellent example for the faithful, but will bring spiritual benefit to the choir-members themselves. 25. In order that this technical and spiritual formation may more easily be obtained, the diocesan, national and international associations of sacred music should offer their services, especially those that have been approved and several times commended by the Holy See. 26. The priest, the sacred ministers and the servers, the reader and those in the choir, and also the commentator, should perform the parts assigned to them in a way which is comprehensible to the people, in order that the responses of the people, when the rite requires it, may be made easy and spontaneous. It is desirable that the priest, and the ministers of every degree, should join their voices to the voice of the whole faithful in those parts which concern the people.21 27. For the celebration of the Eucharist with the people, especially on Sundays and feast days, a form of sung Mass (Missa in cantu) is to be preferred

“Besides musical formation, suitable liturgical and spiritual formation must also be given to the members of the choir.” as much as possible, even several times on the same day. 28. The distinction between solemn, sung, and read Mass, sanctioned by the Instruction of 1958 (n. 3), is retained, according to the traditional liturgical laws at present in force. However, for the sung Mass (Missa cantata), different degrees of participation are put forward here for reasons of pastoral usefulness, so that it may become easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation. These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first. In this way the faithful will be continually led towards an ever greater participation in the singing. 29. The following belong to the first degree: (a) In the entrance rites: the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people; the prayer. (b) In the Liturgy of the Word: the acclamations at the Gospel. (c) In the Eucharistic Liturgy: the prayer over the offerings; the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus; the final doxology of the Canon, the Lord’s prayer with its introduction and embolism; the Pax Domini; the prayer after the Communion; the formulas of dismissal. 30. The following belong to the second degree: (a) the Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei; (b) the Creed; (c) the prayer of the faithful. 31. The following belong to the third degree: (a) the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions; (b) the songs after the Lesson or Epistle; (c) the Alleluia before the Gospel; (d) the song at the Offertory; (e) the readings of Sacred Scripture, unless it seems more suitable to proclaim them without singing. 32. The custom legitimately in use in certain places and widely confirmed by indults, of substituting other songs for the songs given in the Graduale for the Entrance, Offertory and Communion,

can be retained according to the judgment of the competent territorial authority, as long as songs of this sort are in keeping with the parts of the Mass, with the feast or with the liturgical season. It is for the same territorial authority to approve the texts of these songs. 33. It is desirable that the assembly of the faithful should participate in the songs of the Proper as much as possible, especially through simple responses and other suitable settings. The song after the lessons, be it in the form of gradual or responsorial psalm, has a special importance among the songs of the Proper. By its very nature, it forms part of the Liturgy, of the Word. It should be performed with all seated and listening to it—and, what is more, participating in it as far as possible. 34. The songs which are called the “Ordinary of the Mass,” if they are sung by musical settings written for several voices may be performed by the choir according to the customary norms, either a capella, or with instrumental accompaniment, as long as the people are not completely excluded from taking part in the singing. In other cases, the parts of the Ordinary of the Mass can be divided between the choir and the people or even between two sections of the people themselves: one can alternate by verses, or one can follow other suitable divisions which divide the text into larger sections. In these cases, the following points are to be noted: it is preferable that the Creed, since it is a formula of profession of faith, should be sung by all, or in such a way as to permit a fitting participation by the faithful; it is preferable that the Sanctus, as the concluding acclamation of the Preface, should normally be sung by the whole congregation together with the priest; the Agnus Dei may be repeated as often as necessary, especially in concelebrations, where it accompanies the Fraction; it is desirable that the people should participate in this song, as least by the final invocation. 35. The Lord’s Prayer is best performed by the people together with the priest.22 If it is sung in Latin, the melodies already legitimately existing should be used; if, however, it is sung in the vernacular, the settings are to be approved by the competent territorial authority. 36. There is no reason why some of the Proper or Ordinary should not be sung in said Masses. Moreover, some other song can also, on occasions, be sung at the beginning, at the Offertory, at the Communion and at the end of Mass. It is not sufficient, however, that these songs be merely “Eucharistic”— they must be in keeping with the parts of the Mass, with the feast, or with the liturgical season. Parts II through VII of Musicam Sacram will appear in the May Bulletin. _______________________________ 1. Constitution on the Liturgy, 112. 2. Pius X, Motu Proprio, Tra le sollecitudini, 2. 3. Cf. Instruction of the S.C.R., 3 September 1958, 4. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 113. 5. Constitution on the Liturgy, 28. 6. Instruction of the S.C.R., 3 September 1958, 95. 7. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 116. 8. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 28. 9. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 22. 10. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 26 and 41-32; Constitution on the Church, 28. 11. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 29. 12. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 33. 13. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 14. 14. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 11. 15. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 30. 16. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 30. 17. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 30. 18. Cf. Instruction of the S.C.R., 26 September 1964, (D.3), 19 and 59. 19. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, 19; Instruction of the S.C.R., 3 September 1958, 106-8. 20. Cf. Inter Oecumenici, (D.3). 21. Cf. Inter Oecumenici. 22. Cf. Inter Oecumenici, 48.

Adoremus Bulletin - March 2017 Issue  
Adoremus Bulletin - March 2017 Issue